National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)

The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) documents the extent to which first-year and senior college and university students engage in educational practices that research has found to be related to learning and development. NSSE was created to accomplish two core objectives: (a) to refocus the national discourse about the quality of teaching and learning, and (b) to provide colleges and universities with diagnostic, actionable information that can inform efforts to improve the quality of undergraduate education. Since its first national administration in 2000, more than 1,500 bachelor's-granting institutions—from research universities to baccalaureate colleges—have adopted NSSE as an important component of their assessment programs. NSSE results inform accreditation self-studies, benchmarking efforts, faculty development programs, strategic plans, improvement initiatives, recruitment materials, and more.

Director: Alexander C. McCormick

Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE)

The Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE) was designed to complement the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) by asking about the views and practices of instructional staff (faculty, instructors, graduate students who teach, etc.) FSSE asks about instructional staff perceptions of student engagement, the importance placed on various areas of learning and development, the nature and frequency of interactions with students and how instructional staff organize their time.

Project Manager: Allison BrckaLorenz

Beginning College Survey of Student Engagement (BCSSE)

The Beginning College Survey of Student Engagement (BCSSE) measures entering first-year students' high school academic and cocurricular experiences as well as their expectations for participating in educationally purposeful activities during the first college year. BCSSE results, especially when examined alongside NSSE data from the following spring, can inform initiatives to enhance the first-year experience with recognized effective educational practices. BCSSE results may be used in many ways including: (a) academic advising, (b) retention efforts, (c) first-year program design and evaluation, (c) accreditation and self-studies, (d) faculty and staff development, and (e) recruitment.

Project Manager: James S. Cole

Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE)

The Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE) documents dimensions of quality in legal education and measures the extent to which law students engage in educational practices that are empirically linked to learning and other desirable outcomes.

Director: Meera Deo

Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education

The Carnegie ClassificationTM has been the leading framework for recognizing and describing institutional diversity in U.S. higher education for the past four and a half decades. Starting in 1970, the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education developed a classification of colleges and universities to support its program of research and policy analysis. Derived from empirical data on colleges and universities, the Carnegie Classification was originally published in 1973, and subsequently updated in 1976, 1987, 1994, 2000, 2005, 2010, and 2015 to reflect changes among colleges and universities. This framework has been widely used in the study of higher education, both as a way to represent and control for institutional differences, and also in the design of research studies to ensure adequate representation of sampled institutions, students, or faculty.

Director: Victor M. H. Borden

Project on Academic Success

The Project on Academic Success (PAS) works on various research projects that examine contemporary issues in higher education. These projects include evaluating opportunity and equity in postsecondary education, analyzing college completion, identifying the multiple pathways of 21st century students take toward postsecondary academic success and employment, and investigating institutional effectiveness in the United States and overseas. PAS seeks to understand the fundamental dynamics that contribute toward institutional effectiveness and student success, as well as offer suggestions for their improvement.

Director: Victor M. H. Borden

College and University Teaching Environments (CUTE)

The College + University Teaching Environment (CUTE) survey was designed to measure instructional staff (faculty, instructors, graduate students who teach, etc.) perceptions of institutional support for instruction and meeting instructor needs. More specifically, these items collect data about faculty practice, support, needs, and motivations in order to help institutions looking to improve the ways in which they support their faculty as well as promote discussion between higher education scholars working to improve inequities within the professoriate.

Director: Allison BrckaLorenz

National Institute for Transformation and Equity (NITE)

The National Institute for Transformation and Equity (NITE) works with colleges and universities to cultivate culturally engaging campus environments where diverse students thrive. They aim to create and utilize tools to assist postsecondary institutions in their efforts to examine, understand, and improve their campus environments and maximinze success among diverse student populations. The Institute moves beyond typical climate assessments that tend to focus on challenges in the environment. Instead, the institute focuses on the types of environments that engage and support college students from all backgrounds. 

Associate Director: Lucy A. LePeau